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“I think he is an exceptional case because he is a psychopath, he is a nihilist,” Mr. Rustad told The Washington Times. “But one must ask oneself why has the right wing grown over the last decades.

“The media has been trying to boycott his thoughts, but this is like ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’: You have to go and listen, to try and understand what is in his mind, how did he come to this,” Mr. Rustad said, referring to the book about the war crimes trial of Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann.

While the far right in Norway hasn’t had the same influence of many of their European counterparts, it has played a role in the public discourse.

“The extreme right in Norway is very small,” said Kari Helene Partapuoli, director of the Norwegian Center Against Racism. “I would say they pose a very small threat.

“But the anti-Muslim sentiments, the threat of multiculturalism, the feeling that our culture is under attack and the idea of a silent takeover - these sorts of paranoid theories find some sort of resonance in the mainstream debate that we have.”

Still, most agree that the vast majority of populist, anti-immigration political parties, and even far-right groups in Europe, do not condone violence.

“It wouldn’t be fair to say that the right-wing populists are the root or the cause for Breivik,” said Mr. Hartleb. “In general, the right-wing groups are much more moderate and don’t want to use force — as he did in such a brutal way.”

Even so, since the attacks there is a new urgency that the views that Mr. Breivik apparently shares with many Europeans need to be addressed head-on.

“We should take this opportunity to really challenge ideas such as that in 20 or 30 years the European majority is going to be Muslim, that immigrants are stealing work, or that they come to the EU just to seek benefits,” Ms. Gevorgyan said.